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Independent

Energy price war: major electricity provider offers €260 in discounts

Householders are set to benefit after the price war among energy suppliers intensified – Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

One of the leading suppliers of electricity is now offering a 20pc discount for new and returning customers.

SSE Airtricity, which supplies around one in five households, said it would cut the price of its electricity for those who sign up before the end of next month.

The company's new offer will be the cheapest in the market - some €172 less than standard prices.

It comes just as colder weather sets in and is in contrast to the past few autumns, when there were energy price hikes.

The company will also be the second cheapest for both electricity and gas for those who sign up for a dual-fuel offer.

People who sign up for both fuels will get 20pc off the unit rate for electricity and 10pc off the standard gas tariff.

This amounts to a one-year saving of €260 off standard rates with the dual-fuel deal.

Simon Moynihan, of price comparison site Bonkers.ie, said the new offer would be the cheapest in the market.

The one-year cost for electricity from the deal is €1,064; while the dual-fuel offer is just under €2,000 for an average household.

The price-cutting comes just months after Energia entered the market and kick-started a new round of reductions. However, the SSE Airtricity deal comes with a number of conditions.

Customers have to sign up for a year and will have to pay a €50 penalty if they break out of the contract inside 12 months.

Householders also have to sign up for e-billing and agree to pay by direct debit.

Mr Moynihan said energy companies reserve their best offers for those who agree to direct debit and e-billing.

Airtricity claims to be the second largest energy provider in this country.

Its British parent company, SSE Group, is quoted on the London Stock Exchange.

It has around 366,000 residential electricity customers here, and around 110,000 gas customers.

Competition

The entry of Energia at the start of the year sparked a round of price discounting.

It has the cheapest rate for those who take both gas and electricity from it.

But despite the renewed competition, fewer than one in five switched electricity supplier this year, figures from the National Consumer Agency show.

Around four in 10 people never check to see if they could get a better deal by switching, despite big savings being possible.

The majority of these people are likely to be on standard electricity rates - the most expensive in the market.

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